people management

Articles

Testing team standing around a computer and smiling 3 Methods for Better Communication and More Effective Testing

Successful delivery of software requires the entire team, so it’s imperative that everyone choose their words carefully so they convey what they really mean, are sensitive to others’ feelings, and consider all aspects of a problem. Here are three questions to remember when communicating about your software testing projects to ensure you’re considering the power of words.

Ajay Balamurugadas
A developer and a tester looking at each other warily Examining Cross-functionality Bias on Software Development Teams

Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.

Natalie Warnert
Encouraging growth Agile Managers: Trust Your Team and Encourage Innovation

In order to fully embrace agile and create an environment where individuals want to work together as a team, managers have to move from a role of dictation to one of direction and mentorship. Instead of making all the decisions, managers need to trust their team members and empower them to solve problems on their own, innovate, and fail—or succeed.

Lisa Rich Mic Riley
Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team Book Review: Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team

Jurgen Appelo’s useful and fun-to-read book Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team gives you concrete tools to identify ways to help your team be happier and to create environments where people can thrive and be more productive. Despite the word managing being in the title, the book is a beneficial read for anyone.

Steve Berczuk

Better Software Magazine Articles

All Customers Are Not Created Equal All Customers Are Not Created Equal

Software developers may not think they have much to do with customers, but it is wise to consider the customer in all you do, from collecting requirements to design and implementation.

Regina Evans
The Secrets of High- Performance Software Teams The Secrets of High-Performance Software Teams

Of all issues that impact getting quality products out on time, the team should never focus on simply managing costs. To minimize the risk of perpetual product delivery delays, define what “done” really means.

Steve Mezak
tolerate You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all worked with a talented developer who can be a frustrating challenge to manage. First-time managers may unknowingly encourage bad behavior. There are several innovative ways to resolve the situation.

Andy Kaufman
handstand The Power of Thinking Upside Down

Software developers can become bogged down trying to keep up with agile process and procedures. Get better results by rethinking your approach to balancing focus, agility, management, and testing.

Paul McMahon

Interviews

Achieving a Balance between Manual and Automated Testing: An Interview with Jim Holmes
Video

Jim Holmes, executive consultant at Pillar Technology, discusses tools and methods to effectively communicate with management your goals for balancing manual with automated testing.

Jennifer Bonine
Gene Gotimer Understanding the Role of QA in DevOps: An Interview with Gene Gotimer
Video

Gene Gotimer, senior architect at Coveros Inc., discusses understanding the role of QA in DevOps, DevOps educational tools, trusting your team, and paid and open source security tools.

Jennifer Bonine
Marcia Buzzella Why Testers, Developers, and Managers Need Better Communication: An Interview with Marcia Buzzella
Video

In this interview, Marcia Buzzella, a leadership consultant and strengths coach, explains how each member of a software development team can better communicate with one another, and why testers need to understand how what they’re saying is being perceived.

Jennifer Bonine
Selena Delesie Discovering the Soul of Agile: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Podcast

In this interview, Selena Delesie, an international leadership and transformation coach and trainer, explains how your team can find the soul of agile, why some agile teams lack creativity, and who on your team should become a leader.

Josiah Renaudin

Conference Presentations

Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Creating an Innovation-Rich Culture
Slideshow

It's important to create a culture that inspires and infuses your development team with great ideas. But ideas are not action. Ideas in and of themselves are nothing more than unrefined, random thoughts, and worse, most ideas never get implemented. Even when you do follow through on some of the best ideas, they can cause great harm without proper planning and execution. While creativity is an asset, unbridled creativity where disparate ideas abound outside a sound decision-making and execution framework will create distraction and chaos. In this session, Melissa Petak will show you how to transform your organization into a value-creating machine. Using Forbes 15 elements of spurring innovation, Melissa will show you how to balance your innovation portfolio, establish a competitive advantage, and drive business engagement. You'll learn how to create a corporate culture that turns ideas into innovation.

Melissa Petak
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Create Influence, on Demand
Slideshow

The effectiveness of agile approaches are built on influence rather than authority. Practices like collocation and stand-ups actually amplify influence, leveraging behavior patterns built into humans through biology and social conditions. In this workshop, Bernie Maloney will show you how to unpack some fundamental influence patterns, gleaned from typical collaboration ceremonies, and turn them into conscious tools for leadership. Through interactive exercises, you’ll amplify and practice your ability to influence by quickly establishing and building rapport via all forms of active communication: words, inflection, and body language. Bernie will then show you how to extend these tools to lead individuals and teams, and influence upward in your organization as well. You will take away a set of simple yet subtle techniques to improve your communication effectiveness.

 

Bernie Maloney
STAREAST 2018 Balancing Tech Know-How with Social Skills
Slideshow

Even today, communication breakdowns are a primary cause of software project failures. Marcia Buzzella’s research shows that increasing the success rate of projects across agile, DevOps, and waterfall methods requires a balance of social and technical capabilities. Social interactions enable us to assess situations and course correct in ways machines cannot. By strengthening your individual social capabilities (i.e., improving communication techniques and building supportive relationships), you can help transform how testing activities are perceived and help stakeholders understand how testing objectives align with overall project goals. Marcia offers guidance on assessing your current communication skills—what you do well and what needs to improve—and tactics for enhancing your skills and the skills of your team.

Marcia Buzzella
STAREAST 2018 IT Poetry: Distilled Learning from Our Experiences
Slideshow

What Sue Uyetake calls IT Poetry—or distilled learning—is a great communications approach. A way of distilling “What Is” statements as a troubleshooting tool and a way to lighten the moment, IT Poetry has resonated with Sue and her teams. See how you can use IT Poetry to diffuse charged situations with no blame attached, get to the root cause of issues in a retrospective, or help resolve many of the little problems that crop up and can ruin your day. Join Sue as she sheds a new light on some highly charged and negative workplace situations. With examples from her own experience and those shared by participants, Sue shows you how to tweak situations to empower the future by ridiculing the past. See for yourself and walk out with the ability to compose a line or two that allows you to chuckle to yourself in any project situation—while learning from it!

Sue Uyetake

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